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SBU: Russian colonel tortured civilians to death in Kherson Oblast

by Abbey Fenbert August 30, 2023 12:52 AM 2 min read
A garage at a preliminary detention center believed to have been used by Russian forces to jail and torture civilians in Kherson, Nov. 16, 2022. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
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The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has found evidence that Russian Colonel Viktor Bedryk tortured and killed two Ukrainian civilians in occupied Kherson Oblast, the SBU reported via Telegram on Aug. 29.  

Bedryk was appointed the military commander of occupied Kherson Oblast in March 2022.  

According to the SBU's investigation, which was conducted in cooperation with the Kherson Regional Prosecutor's Office, Bedryk used violence and intimidation to suppress resistance to the Russian regime. One of his first tasks was ordering the construction of torture chambers in the city of Kherson.

"In the cells of these prisons, people were beaten, electrocuted, left without food and water, and threatened with execution," the SBU said.

Bedryk took part in the beatings and abuse himself, even arranging for a torture cell directly beneath his personal office.

Many of the victims were detained during anti-Russian protests, while others were simply abducted from their homes or off the street, the SBU said.

The SBU's investigation found documentation of Bedryk's participation in the torture of 12 civilians. Two of these victims died under torture.

The SBU also determined that Bedryk's subordinate, Oleksandr Chychkan, was complicit in these crimes.

As a result of the investigation, the SBU issued both Bedryk and Chychkan notices of suspicion under Article 438 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, which deals with war crimes.

"Comprehensive measures to bring the offenders to justice regardless of their location are underway," the SBU said.

Ukrainian troops liberated the city of Kherson in November 2022. Before liberation, residents of occupied Kherson sustained an underground resistance movement for months under constant threat of imprisonment, torture, and death.

Tortured Khersonians speak of Russia’s crimes
As Maksym Nehrov sat in the back of a vehicle, tied up, with a bag over his head, he overheard the Russians talking and he knew at once where he was headed. They’d hunted him all over Kherson, kicking down doors and tearing through the apartments of his
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